Weetabix fans could see a shortage (Image: PA)

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Weetabix staff will strike this month over the firm’s controversial “fire and rehire” plans.

The stoppages will “inevitably” hit production and lead to shortages, Unite claimed.

The union has slammed Weetabix over plans to put workers on what it calls “vastly inferior” contracts, resulting in what it says are pay cuts of up to £5,000 a year in some cases.

The strike by engineers at the firm’s Corby and Kettering in Northamptonshire will begin on June 23, and then every Wednesday of each week until mid-September.

Unite regional officer Sean Kettle said: “Unite’s members have made it totally clear to Weetabix they will not allow the company to fire and rehire them and slash their pay.

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The Weetabix Corby 2, breakfast ceral manufacturing plant, located to the north of Corby in the East Midlands
(Image: Getty Images)

“Strike action will inevitably cause serious disruption to the production of Weetabix and will lead to shortages in shops as the strike progresses.”

A Weetabix spokesperson said: “We are naturally disappointed by the result of the reported ballot, but respect the voice of our workforce and their representatives.

“We will remain in close consultation with them and are confident that together we can avoid any product shortages while we implement necessary new ways of working to keep us competitive for the next 90 years and beyond.”

It comes as a delayed report into fire and rehire found its use was “widespread” by employers.

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Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) was warned its use could increase as the Government’s furlough scheme and business support measures end.

Some of those Acas spoke to said they believed employers were using the Covid crisis “opportunistically as a smokescreen to diminish workers’ terms and conditions.”

The Mirror launched our Stop the Fire and Rehire Scandal campaign after the use of the tactic by other firms.

Acas chief executive Susan Clews said: “There was also evidence that fire and rehire practices have been used for many years and predate the pandemic.”

In the wake of the Acas report, Boris Johnson today insisted that “hire and fire should only be used in limited circumstances such as to prevent job losses when other options have been exhausted”.

But Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB union, slammed his comments, saying: “The Prime Minister’s pathetic responses will give bad bosses carte blanche to use this cruel and archaic practice whenever they see fit.

“Thousands of workers across the UK – and their families – have had their lives ruined by fire and rehire bullying.

Weetabix has been a breakfast favourite for decades
(Image: Getty Images)

“But the UK Government clearly supports the continued use of fire and rehire, there’s no levelling-up for workers’ rights here.

“This is a pivotal moment for our covid recovery in terms of how we value our workers going forward. Outlawing fire and rehire would be a good start.”